TV personality helps guide Worthing performance for Chestnut Tree House

Worthing Caring Candles raised more than £350 for Chestnut Tree House children’s hospice with a performance guided by TV personality Ken Burton.

Yasmina Solé, club director, said everyone, cast and audience, left Emmanuel United Reformed Church uplifted and with smiles on their faces.

“We were happy to collect £359. 66 in aid of Chestnut Tree House to make a difference in the lives of children in a vulnerable situation,” she said.

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“A Christmas Dream, which I wrote, went very well this year and the quality went up a gear from last year, thanks to having top class director Tony Bright, as well as TV personality Ken Burton as music director, and a wonderful cast.”

A scene from A Christmas Dream, written by Yasmina Sole for Worthing Caring Candles

Baritone Oscar Willian Smith gave a credible performance as Mr Grumpy and sang his several solos with passion and command.

Gillian Fischer as Nancy was able to capture the subtleties of her character and gave a very moving performance of her solo, But I Chose Life.

Abbi Crawford as the villain Mr Shady was great at bringing out the humour in his character and nailed his song, Shady is My Name, with his resonant voice.

Yasmina added: “Our crew was very skilled, including sound operator Bryan Mercer, award-winning Tom Payne, doing the general lighting and stage manager Jamie King-Cox.

“And, of course, our very own talented Caring Candles did a fantastic job, including those at the heart of our play, the three homeless girls, Fern played to excellency by Enya Retardo, Willow skillfully played by Paula Santineer, and Snow played by Renata Bravo Gajda, who gave an overall very sweet performance, including her solo singing of the song, I Never Knew Dreams Could Come True.”

The Lord-Lieutenant of West Sussex, Mrs Susan Pyper, wrote a supportive letter, which was read out at the show.

Yasmina said the children were encouraged by this and the audience received it with warmth.